Answering Your Questions about our Pre Surgery Carbohydrate Drink: The Top 5 ClearFast FAQs

clearfast pre surgery carbohydrate drink

At ClearFast, we get to be on the forefront of an exciting shift in the way the medical industry prepares patients for surgery. With physicians and luminary hospitals across the U.S. now replacing old-school fasting-from-midnight with the consumption of a pre surgery carbohydrate drink instead, we hear from patients all of the time who have questions about this seemingly surprising change in protocol. Today, then, we’re answering your top 5 questions about our pre surgery carbohydrate drink.

  1. But I thought I was supposed to fast before surgery?

First and foremost, you should always follow your doctor’s instructions. That being said, this is definitely the most common question we hear—and understandably so—so let’s break down fasting before surgery versus consuming a pre surgery carbohydrate drink:

  • 150, years ago medical professionals realized having food in your stomach before surgery could cause you to aspirate. 
  • Aspiration is the entry of your stomach contents/food into the lower respiratory tract and lungs—which can be very dangerous during surgery. 
  • In response, medical professionals implemented a new, sweeping rule: patients were to have no food or drink after midnight before their surgery (also called “NPO” or “NPO after midnight” in the medical industry).
  • Fast-forward to the year 2000, when extensive new research (over 30 independent studies) concluded that patients who drank clear fluid before surgery actually had emptier stomachs than their fasting counterparts. 
  • Patients who fasted had a build-up of stomach acids as a result of fasting. Therefore, patients who drank clear fluid prior to surgery were ultimately deemed less likely to aspirate than those who fasted.

So, while you should follow your physician’s specific surgery prep instructions—we do know that modern research points to the fact that consuming a pre surgery carbohydrate drink helps decrease a patient’s risk of aspiration—making the question of a pre surgery drink definitely a worthwhile one to address at your pre-op appointment. (Psst…you can learn more about talking to your doctor about ClearFast here.)

  1. When do I need to have my bottles completed by?

Great question! You should drink your last ClearFast bottle two hours prior to your procedure, unless instructed otherwise. You can check out our drinking instructions and bottle-count recommendations on our website. PRO TIP: Chill your ClearFast overnight for a smooth, tasty option! 

  1. Can I use CF as part of my colonoscopy prep?

Absolutely! Our pre surgery carbohydrate drink is used for colonoscopy prep all of the time (more on ClearFast for Colonoscopy prep here)—and it’s actually pretty perfect for this common procedure for two main reasons:

  • Chase your prep drink: As part of your colonoscopy prep procedure, you have to consume that foul-tasting prep liquid. ClearFast, though, acts as a great “chaser” for your prep drink, helping it go down smoother and easier. (Colonoscopy prep customers say this lifehack makes the dreaded prep experience “totally different.”)

  • Fight dehydration and hunger: Drinking the prep liquid (and emptying your bowels) can lead to major dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Dehydration and hunger are things you want to avoid in general, but especially before undergoing anesthesia. Because it’s chock-full of complex carbs and electrolytes (while still being colorless and safe to consume before surgery), ClearFast greatly reduces dehydration and hunger before your colonoscopy. 

  1. I’m not usually “starving” as a result of fasting before surgery. Are there other benefits of taking ClearFast before surgery?

The benefits of ClearFast don’t stop at the obvious (that it fills you up and hydrates you). Even if fasting after midnight doesn’t necessarily stress you out or leave you hungry in the morning, our pre surgery carbohydrate drink offers up a number of other benefits. Because it contains six essential nutrients (complex carbohydrates, electrolytes, Vitamin A, Selenium, Zinc, L-citrulline), ClearFast can:

  • Greatly reduce your risk of post-op nausea and vomiting: No more heavy meds on an empty stomach! (More on avoiding getting sick after anesthesia here.)
  • Facilitate easier, less painful IV “sticks”: When you’re hydrated, your veins are much easier to find.
  • Give you an edge on recovery: Zinc and L-citrulline work to heal you faster by promoting healthy circulation and nitric oxide production, while Vitamin-A helps support healthy tissue function. Combined, these properties make for a faster, easier recovery process. 
  1. Why can’t I just drink water?

Hey, we love water as much as the next hydration expert. But, while water will (of course) hydrate you, it isn’t capable of acting as a “liquid food” the way the right pre surgery carbohydrate drink does. Because ClearFast is chock-full of complex carbs (rather than simple sugars like you’d find in sports drinks), it nourishes you before surgery. And pre surgery nourishment plays a huge role in ensuring you don’t get sick upon waking from surgery (from being administered heavy anesthesia meds on an empty stomach full of nothing but water). Plus nutrients that you won’t find in water (like zinc, L-citrulline and Vitamin-A) work together to make for a faster recovery and healing process.


That’s it for today’s roundup of your top FAQs about our pre surgery carbohydrate drink. You can browse more ClearFast FAQs here, or order your ClearFast Presurgery Drink here if you’re ready to change the game when it comes to your surgery experience. And, as always, don’t hesitate to reach out to the ClearFast team at support@drinkcf.com if you have any questions that we didn’t cover today. We’re always here and more than happy to help!

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